The top executive in Cisco's struggling collaboration business unit is leaving the company, Cisco confirmed this week.
O.J. Winge, most recently senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, is leaving Cisco "for personal reasons," according to a Wednesday blog post from Marthin De Beer, senior vice president, video and collaboration group.
Replacing Winge is Rowan Trollope, most recently group president of Symantec SMB and the Symantec.cloud business unit, and a 21-year Symantec veteran. Trollope, who was "instrumental" in the turnaround of Symantec's Norton brand, wrote De Beer, will assume responsibility for Cisco's full collaboration portfolio including TelePresence, Unified Communications Manager and WebEx.
"Rowan is an engineer at heart, and he has consistently demonstrated a passion for technology and user experience throughout his long and distinguished career at Symantec," De Beer wrote.
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Winge joined Cisco during its 2010 acquisition of Tandberg, where he'd been vice president of the EMEA region and then executive vice president of products. He was initially Cisco's vice president and general manager for telepresence, but earlier this year succeeded Barry O'Sullivan as collaboration group chief.
Cisco during its fiscal fourth quarter saw an 8 percent decline in collaboration, which CEO John Chambers at the time attributed to decreased spending on video telepresence largely in public sector and the European market. Cisco has continued to expand its overall collaboration portfolio, including with cloud-based versions of many of its video and software tools and partner incentives behind what Cisco executives have previously described as at least a $42 billion total addressable market for Cisco solution providers.
Henry Dewing, principal analyst at Forrester Research, said in a Wednesday blog post that Trollope was a smart hire for Cisco.
"Rowan comes from Symantec where he was a leader in developing and delivering security solutions. He is a smart, well-educated executive who brings hard-core, real-world experience managing and growing software and cloud-based businesses," Dewing wrote.
Winge was famous for his commitment to user experience, Dewing added, but Trollope should help Cisco's collaboration efforts by driving a focus on the user, a focus on the cloud, and a focus on growth.
"Rowan expanded Symantec's cloud-based offerings to encompass the majority of its enterprise technology portfolio -- he gets the value of 'as-a-service' delivery," he said. "[He's also] taken new ideas from inception to business viability in a variety of domains ranging from creating the marketing campaign 'Cybercrime Is Real' to developing an SMB market-facing business unit."
Cisco is scheduled to report fiscal first quarter earnings on Tuesday.
PUBLISHED NOV. 8, 2012